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Sayonara PRIDE FC?

dana white talks about pride fc futureAbout three months ago Zuffa announced that it had purchased PRIDE FC for a reported $75 million. Less than one month ago, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the sale was final.

Not much information was ever revealed about how the Japanese product would be managed — perhaps because no decisions were ever made. However, PRIDE FC standouts such as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera and others have been announced as UFC fighters during this time.

Furthermore, PRIDE FC welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson is scheduled to put his 205-pound title on the line against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson inside the Octagon at UFC 75 in London, England, on September 8.

All of these recent developments have brought into serious question what will happen to PRIDE FC as time continues to tick.

In a recent article from the Houston Chronicle, White touches on the possibility that Zuffa will dissolve PRIDE FC and sign whatever fighters it can to fight in the UFC.

Here's a snip from White:

"It's a possibility. There's a lot of different things we could do right now. That is definitely one of the possibilities."

One of the reasons, if I'm not mistaken, Dream Stage Entertainment sold PRIDE FC to Zuffa was because it wanted to ensure that the brand would endure. And, the logic was that the Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta — Zuffa kingpins and majority owners of the UFC — were the right men for the job.

This latest report, which is not an all out declaration that PRIDE FC is toast, appears to indicate that things have changed since the landmark deal on March 27.

Perhaps after all the months of due diligence, number crunching and logistics Zuffa realizes now that the easiest and most practical approach is to just roll PRIDE FC into the UFC.

After all, the company did just that when it purchased the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) in late 2006. On the flip side, Zuffa also purchased the smaller World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion around that same time.

The WEC now operates as a separate entity with a fair amount of success.

How the PRIDE FC situation unfolds, naturally, remains to be seen. But with no events scheduled yet this year, fighters defecting in droves and no concrete plan seemingly in place, the writing seems to be on the wall for the future of PRIDE FC.

And it doesn't appear to be all too snappy right now.

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